Fairfield lays off employees after months of payroll trouble

FAIRFIELD, Ala. (WIAT) —UPDATE: A GoFundMe page has been setup to help the laid off workers. The goal is to raise $20,000 by December 16.

ORIGINAL: The City of Fairfield laid off a large portion of its workforce this week.

The layoffs affected many different departments throughout the city, but a city administrator said no police officers or firefighters were let go.

Marvin Byrd worked for the Streets and Sanitation Department. He told CBS42 that he and his colleagues were told Tuesday that they’d be laid off, effective immediately.

“I was very upset,” Byrd said. “Just to be pulled in and receive a big shock like that, especially around Christmas with no warning. It just was heartbreaking.”

Still, Byrd admits that the layoffs don’t come as too much of a surprise.

The City of Fairfield has struggled financially since U.S. Steel removed its operation from the city and Walmart closed its doors.

On several occasions this year, paychecks were withheld from employees for several days while then-Mayor Kenneth Coachman argued with city council members about whether funds were available for payroll.

A new city council and Mayor, Ed May II, were elected this fall. May served as a city attorney before he was elected as Mayor.

According to Byrd, May told laid employees that he would meet with them to help them find new jobs under the Jefferson County Personnel Board.

CBS42’s calls to May’s office were not returned Friday.

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